About Us

Booker’s Restaurant & Bar at 5021 Baltimore is the new restaurant-thought of Saba Tedla, current owner of Aksum Café. Serving a menu of New American comfort food with southern flair in a refined yet laid-back atmosphere, Booker’s carefully crafts expertly prepared dishes for omnivores, vegans, kids & adults. The eatery boasts a 2-room combined dining area which seats over 100 people, making it one of the largest venues on Baltimore avenue, and by way of that – the newest neighborhood hotspot. With live music and events every week and weekend brunch hours starting on April 1, Booker’s is a happening place.

The story behind the restaurant’s name is a fickle one. After experimenting with several different names, none of which fit the idea, Tedla settled on Booker’s as a tribute to the common African-American surname. It’s also the name of the famous waiter Booker Wright – featured in the documentary “Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story,” which chronicles Wright’s time working in a whites-only restaurant in 1960s Mississippi, while also running his own restaurant that catered to black customers. As an homage to Wright, the roots of Booker’s West Philadelphia neighborhood, and of course, the Jim Beam bourbon, Booker’s proudly wears this name.

As further acknowledgement of it’s West Philly roots, Booker’s displays a large-scale print of a photograph by 20th-century, Philadelphia-based photojournalist John Mosley on the wall of it’s dining room. Mosley was a prolific documentarian of black community and culture in the segregated city from the 1930s through the Civil Rights Movement, and is well-known for his photos of monumental figures such as Nat King Cole, Albert Einstein, and Martin Luther King Jr.

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